Social Networking, Social Media and Complex Emergencies: Issues Paper

"Social networking and social media are playing an increasingly important role in responses to complex emergencies and natural disasters. The recent ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have highlighted aspects of citizen-led networking and communication that have captured the world’s attention."

The Communication and Complex Emergencies Project is a collaboration between the University of Adelaide’s Applied Communication Collaborative Research Unit (ACCRU) and the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC). The project’s main objectives are to highlight the role of communication – including new and social media – in complex emergencies and in support of humanitarian assistance. The work focuses on ‘what we know’, mapping out a broad array of knowledge while examining the functions, strengths and limitations of various forms of media, from social networking and social media to radio, television, print and video.

The project has resulted in several outputs that are designed to support each other:

  • a social networking and social media annotated bibliography
  • a social networking and social media issues paper
  • a communication and complex emergencies handbook.
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